• June 2021

    Fuel for the Future and Catalina Island

    Fuel for the Future and Catalina Island By Lisa Catterall In the May 2021 issue of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, researchers at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, which operates the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island, published the results of a study that may move humanity forward in the replacement of fossil fuels. One possible replacement for oil as an energy source is fuel that comes from plant sources. Because matter and energy are always conserved, however, there is a scale issue with trying to slake the thirst of humanity for oil and oil products by growing plants on land. We just can’t sustainably grow or…

  • April 2021

    The Scare

    The Scare By Lisa Catterall It’s that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s showing us how very, very dark the tunnel has been. – Kate McKinnon I began class yesterday swinging a perfectly balanced, forged metal axe into the top of a thick cut of firewood. I was wearing hot pink Minnie Mouse footsie pajamas and singing at the top of my lungs, and my teenager was holding up a Zoom camera, streaming it all live. I was going completely insane, on record. It all made sense, in my mind. My engineering class needed a demonstration of a simple machine, and I had…